Other Special Events
Calling all Naturalists to share
with the young (& young at heart) a sense of wonder
High Lonesome Nature Reserve
July 29th and 30th
Open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 29 & 30, the “Wild Child” festival is offered by the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) to give children and their families an opportunity to use all their senses to explore and experience nature.
MMLT is seeking volunteers passionate about nature to interact with the visitors at one of the “stations”: exploring life in the pond, finding and identifying rocks and fossils, wandering through the enchanting Stone Wall Arboretum, investigating the secrets of the soil under your feet, creating at the creativity station, or learning bush craft. The volunteers need not be experts, only eager to help the lead of the station open windows into the many wonders of Nature, with interesting relevant information and tidbits provided as background for each station.
The Soundscaping station provides a special opportunity for anyone interested in the technology for audio interpretation of the natural world. In addition to assisting and explaining the technology, Chad Clifford would train volunteers to operate the soundscaping equipment.
There are 4 volunteer time slots for each station:
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Saturday, July 29
1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Saturday, July 29
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Sunday, July 30
1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Sunday, July 30
If you wish to sign up for both time periods one day, please bring a lunch. We are seeking more than one volunteer at each site to support the lead.
To volunteer, please contact Mary Vandenhoff at or 1-613-278-2939. For further details, or to discuss station activities, the contact information for the lead person at each station is provided below.
Activity Stations at the MMLT “Festival of the Wild Child” July 29th and 30th
Welcome Centre: Registration, explanation of festival program (morning time slot for this station starts at 9:30 AM) ()
Beaver Pond, adjacent meadow: Creativity Station, activities such as leaf and bark rubbings, etc. Help Jacquie Christiani () with these or suggest other fun nature activities for little hands.
Tranquility Pond: pond life; learn about beaver (they have just moved in to this pond). Help Chris Baburek () catch and examine frogs, salamanders, leeches; some info on pond life and on the beaver (look at stumps where trees were recently chewed down by beavers). At least two volunteers needed for each time slot.
Rockery at Spooky Marsh: Assist Moses Goldenberg () and Deb Shea, looking for and identifying rocks; explanation of geology of area (granite/marble). Scope for also discussing trees.
Stone Wall Arboretum: Assist Anne Cameron ( ) with the identification of trees & shrubs; interesting tidbits about each. Some explanation of the stone wall and why the settlers made it.
Joel’s Pond: Soundscaping and tree identification; opportunity to be trained to work with soundscaping expert Chad Clifford ( )
Read about the event and directions to High Lonesome in the Pakenham Hills on the MMLT website at https://mmlt.ca/event/festival-of-the-wild-child-june-29-30/
High Lonesome Nature Reserve Welcome Centre Grand Opening
There is now a welcome centre at the High Lonesome Nature Reserve in Pakenham. The Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust extends the following invitation to its Grand Opening, June 24.
“Please join us for the Grand Opening of our new Welcome Centre at High Lonesome Nature Reserve on Saturday, June 24th. Check in time is 10:00 a.m. and the ceremony begins at 10:30.
Following the ceremony is a Hygge Tree event. Admission to this portion is a $10 donation to MMLT. Visitors will be invited to explore different tree species along the trails, to learn more about them and their connections within the natural world and with people.”
For more details and directions to High Lonesome, please visit this link.
The Messenger: Birds Have Something to Tell Us
The award-winning documentary film, The Messenger, is coming to Almonte TONIGHT JANUARY 19
Canadian Director Su Rynard’s visionary film will be showing for one night only at Almonte Old Town Hall. Since its world premiere at Toronto’s 2015 Hot Docs Film Festival, The Messenger has impressed audiences around the world. This essential film has significant global implications and argues that the decline of songbirds signals an uncertain shift in an already fragile ecosystem, while warning that the uncertain fate of songbirds mirrors our own. Screening information is as follows: 7 PM, Thursday, January 19 at Almonte Old Town Hall. Admission is $5, with all proceeds to Bird Studies Canada (BSC), “The Messenger” Impact Campaign. The screening, hosted by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists, will be followed by a Q and A discussion. Note that admission is free for MVFN members. However, for those who wish to donate to BSC, donations will be accepted on film night and at the Jan 6 MVFN Pub Night.
The films director had noticed birds “disappearing” from around her family cottage NE of Toronto: “For me, the first step was to simply stop, listen and see for myself what was going on in the skies above. The next step [was] this film” said Rynard. Indeed, according to Dr. Bridget Stutchbury, author of Silence of the Songbirds,
“What we’re seeing with these songbird declines is 40 or 50 years in a row of the populations getting lower and lower. So we have only half the birds we did back in the 1960’s.”
Beautifully filmed in Canada (Toronto, Alberta’s boreal forest, and elsewhere), Costa Rica, Germany, France, The Netherlands and the USA, The Messenger excels, with an international panel of remarkable participants— expert scientists and artists whose insightful knowledge and passion movie-goers strongly connect with. To name a few: Dr. Bridget Stutchbury; University of Saskatchewan’s, Dr. Christy Morrisey, the young eco-toxicologist whose research on impacts of new pesticides on prairie farmland and wetland birds is revealing vital clues to what’s going wrong; German composer/DJ Dominik Eulberg whose contribution “reconciled his love of ornithology, with his talent, skill and experience in techno music”; and ecologist Alejandra Martinez-Salinas, in Costa Rica, whose current work focuses on the role of birds in control of coffee berry borer, an important coffee pest worldwide.
“Without a doubt, The Messenger is the most outstanding film I’ve seen on birds. The fact that it is so strongly science-based, so emotive in its pitch, so beautiful in its design it captivates me and everyone who has had a chance to see it” says Steven Price, President, Bird Studies Canada:
The Messenger brings hope also. Rynard: “In ancient times, to predict the future, humans looked to the flights and songs of birds. Today once more, the birds have something to tell us.” [Ultimately]: “I believe people are compassionate, intelligent, and capable of change. Real change occurs when people begin to positively care, and you can feel this in the film . . . we have launched an impact campaign with Bird Studies Canada birdscanada.org. We aim to connect people who care with ways they can help.”
Film Screening details:
Date: Thursday, January 19th, 2017
Time: 7 PM (doors open 6:30 PM)
Place: Almonte Old Town Hall, 14 Bridge St., Almonte, ON
Admission: Tickets are $5 at the door, with all proceeds going to the Bird Studies Canada (BSC) ‘The Messenger’ Impact Campaign. Admission is free for MVFN members. However, for those who wish, donations towards BSC will be accepted on film screening night or at the Jan 6 MVFN Pub Night. Refreshments will be available at the event. The film will be followed by an audience Q & A discussion.
Help Wanted Help Wanted Help Wanted
Clayton Road Clean-Up Morning with MVFN
Saturday, April 30, 2016
MVFN’s Environmental Issues Committee is embarking upon a new effort to help make our part of community more ‘natural’ and ‘healthy’ by removing as much trash as possible from roadways.
We have decided to “adopt a road” each year. This year we will clean up on Clayton Road, Mississippi Mills AND we are asking your help to achieve this task! Meet afterwards for donut and coffee to relax and celebrate.
Date: Saturday April 30th from 8:30 to 10:30 am; coffee at Equator Coffee in Almonte afterwards.
Fourteen volunteers plus one or two pick-up trucks would easily complete the task. Please register for this event so I’ll know who is coming. Let me know if you have a pick-up and can help to drive helpers and/or help by collecting litter.
What to wear: long sleeves and trousers, tucked in to protect from deer ticks and wild parsnip. Gloves are essential. Also sun screen and insect repellant.
What to bring: a light pail with a handle and a stick with a nail in the end.
Where to meet: Esso station (corner of Highway 29 and Ottawa Street) in Almonte at 7:45 am for car-pooling.
To Register: Contact Cliff Bennett at 613-256 5013 or
Celebration of Life for Joel Byrne
It is sad to post this reminder. . . but for those who wanted to attend here is the information about the Celebration of Life service for Joel Byrne.
A Celebration of Life for Joel Byrne will be held at 1:00 pm on March 12, 2016 at St. Andrew’s United Church, at 2585 County Rd 29 in Pakenham, ON. Reception: refreshments and a time of sharing will take place following the service.
In lieu of flowers, it is the wish of family that donations in memory of Joel be made to the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust, 375 McCulloch Road, McDonald’s Corners, ON K0G 1M0. A memorial bench is planned at High Lonesome Nature Reserve in the Pakenham Hills where Joel enjoyed so many days.
Our friend Joel, at White Lake, 2008 (photo by Howard Robinson).